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ZEN Graphene Solutions Scaling up Graphene Production $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 8:57 AM on Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Thunder Bay, Ontario–(March 26, 2020) – ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSXV: ZEN) (“ZEN” or the “Company“) has commenced scale-up and engineering studies on processes for the production of Albany Pure ™ Graphene products at the Company’s research and development facility in Guelph, Ontario. The priority is to increase graphene production in anticipation of future demand as the Company launched graphene product sales in early March 2020. ZEN will also commission the recently purchased purification autoclave to commence the production of high-purity Albany graphene precursor material.

ZEN’s graphene products will now all have the Albany Pure ™ Seal of Authenticity which represents that the material was sourced from unique Albany Graphite and meets the Company’s high-quality standards. Albany Pure ™ Graphene products can be purchased online at https://shop.zengraphene.com/.

The Company will be working with leading university researchers to help facilitate the GO process scale-up at its Guelph facility. The research and engineering team will also be developing and testing custom functionalized graphene formulations as requested by industrial collaborators for product performance enhancement.

The Company has also reviewed operational expenses and eliminated non-core expenditures in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its global economic fallout. This will ensure that scaled up graphene production operations can move forward while the Company remains focused on developing industrial partnerships. ZEN has also eliminated all business-related air travel for employees as well as in-person meetings until further notice.

About ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd.

ZEN is an emerging graphene technology solutions company with a focus on the development of graphene-based nanomaterial products and applications. The unique Albany Graphite Project provides the company with a potential competitive advantage in the graphene market as independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada have independently demonstrated that ZEN’s Albany PureTM Graphite is an ideal precursor material which easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene, using a variety of mechanical, chemical and electrochemical methods.

For further information:

Dr. Francis Dubé, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +1 (289) 821-2820

Email: [email protected]

To find out more on ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd., please visit our website at www.ZENGraphene.com. A copy of this news release and all material documents in respect of the Company may be obtained on ZEN’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.ca.

Bilayer Graphene Double Quantum Dots Tune in for Single-Electron Control SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 11:07 AM on Thursday, March 12th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

The first demonstration of graphene double quantum dots in which it is possible to control the number of electrons down to zero has been reported in Nano Letters. Far from an abstract academic stunt, the results could prove key to future implementations of quantum computing based on graphene. “Having exact information and control over the number of electrons in the dots is essential for spin based quantum information technology,” says Luca Banszerus, a researcher at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and the first author of the paper reporting these results.

Although this level of control has been demonstrated in single quantum dots, this is the first demonstration in graphene double quantum dots, which are particularly useful as spin qubits. “Using a double dot heavily facilitates the readout of the electron’s spin state and the implementation of quantum gates,” Banszerus adds.

Less edgy quantum dots 

The idea of using graphene in quantum dots dates back almost as far as the first reports of the material’s isolation in 2004. Graphene has almost no spin-orbit interaction and very little hyperfine coupling, which would suggest that spin lifetimes can be extremely high. Unfortunately, quantum dots physically etched from larger graphene flakes run into problems due to the disorder at the dot’s edges disrupting the material’s behavior. As a result, the transport behavior of these quantum dots is dominated by localized states at the edges. “This leads to an unknown effective quantum dot size and an occupation of typically many electrons,” says Banszerus.

Instead, Banszerus and colleagues at RWTH Aachen and the National Institute of Materials Science in Japan work with bilayer graphene, which can be tuned to be a semiconductor. A voltage applied to specific regions of a bilayer graphene flake can switch those regions to behave as insulators, electrostatically defining a quantum dot that has no edge states nearby.

The Aachen researchers strip single flakes of bilayer graphene from graphite (mechanical exfoliation) and handle it using a dry pick-up technique that hinges on van der Waals interactions. They encapsulate the bilayer graphene in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) crystal. They then place the structure on a graphite flake, which acts as the bottom electrode, and add chromium and gold split gates and finger gates separated from the split gates by a 30-nm-thick layer of atomic layer deposited Al2O3.

They were able to control the number of electrons on the quantum dots by applying a voltage, which also affected the tunneling coupling between the dots. As a result, once the total occupation of the two quantum dots exceeds eight electrons, they begin to behave as one single quantum dot, rather than a double quantum dot. Transport measurements also revealed that the number of electrons loaded on the quantum dot could be controlled down to zero electrons.

The idea of defining quantum dots in bilayer graphene electrostatically in this way is not new. However, although different groups have attempted this approach since 2010, the process required recently discovered tricks of the trade, such as better encapsulation in hBN and the use of graphite flakes as gates to get a clean band gap. Banszerus says these developments came as quite a surprise and revived interest in graphene quantum dots in 2018. He hopes the capabilities they have now demonstrated will further spark activity in this field.

Coupling control

“Even though being able to control the number of charges in a graphene double dot is a huge step forward, there are still many problems to be solved on the road toward spin-based quantum information technology in graphene,” says Banszerus. Next, he hopes to tackle the problem of controlling the coupling between the quantum dots and the reservoir, which he hopes to achieve by adding an additional layer of interdigitated finger gates on top.

Source: https://phys.org/news/2020-03-bilayer-graphene-quantum-dots-tune.html

TU Delft Team Develops Model to Guide Large-Scale Production of Graphene SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 1:44 PM on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

  • A research team at Delft University of Technology has developed a mathematical model that can be used to guide the large-scale production of graphene.

“Our model is the first to give a detailed view of what happens at the micro and nanoscale when graphene is produced from plain graphite using energetic fluid mixing,” says Dr. Lorenzo Botto, researcher at the department of Process & Energy at TU Delft. “The model will help the design of large-scale production processes, paving the way for graphene to be incorporated in commercial applications from energy storage devices to biomedicine”.

One of the most promising techniques to produce graphene from graphite is liquid-phase exfoliation. In this technique, graphite is sheared in a liquid environment until layers of graphene detach from the bulk material. The liquid causes the graphene layers to detach gently, which is important to obtain high-quality graphene.

The process has already been successful in the production of graphene on laboratory scale, and, on a trial-and-error basis, on larger scales. It has the potential to be used on industrial scales, to produce tons of material. However, in order to increase the scale of graphene production, we need to know the process parameters that make the exfoliation work efficiently without damaging the graphene sheets.

A research team at TU Delft led by Dr. Lorenzo Botto has developed a mathematical model to determine those parameters. This model can be embedded in large-scale industrial process optimisation software or used by practitioners to choose processing parameters.

“The exfoliation process is difficult to model,” explains Botto. “The adhesion between graphene layers is not easy to quantify and the fluid dynamical forces exerted by the liquid on the graphite depend sensitively on surface properties and geometry.” Team members Catherine Kamal and Simon Gravelle developed and tested the model against molecular dynamics simulations, and proved that that the model can be very accurate. Key to the success of the model is the inclusion of hydronamic slip of the liquid pushing against the graphite surface, and of the fluid forces on the graphene edges

 Botto: “The model forms the basis for better control of the technique at any scale. We hope it will pave the way to the large-scale production of graphene for all kinds of useful applications.””

SOURCE: https://www.graphene-info.com/tu-delft-team-develops-model-guide-large-scale-production-graphene

Graphene – A Talented 2D Material Gets a New Gig SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 12:09 PM on Thursday, March 5th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

An optical image of the graphene device (shown above as a square gold pad) on a silicon dioxide/silicon chip. Shining metal wires are connected to gold electrodes for electrical measurement. The tiny graphene device has a length and width of just one-tenth of a millimeter. (Credit: Guorui Chen/Berkeley Lab)
  • Berkeley Lab scientists tap into graphene’s hidden talent as an electrically tunable superconductor, insulator, and magnetic device for the advancement of quantum information science

Ever since graphene’s discovery in 2004, scientists have looked for ways to put this talented, atomically thin 2D material to work. Thinner than a single strand of DNA yet 200 times stronger than steel, graphene is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, and it can conform to any number of shapes, from an ultrathin 2D sheet, to an electronic circuit.

Last year, a team of researchers led by Feng Wang, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and a professor of physics at UC Berkeley, developed a multitasking graphene device that switches from a superconductor that efficiently conducts electricity, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current, and back again to a superconductor.

Now, as reported in Nature today, the researchers have tapped into their graphene system’s talent for juggling not just two properties, but three: superconducting, insulating, and a type of magnetism called ferromagnetism. The multitasking device could make possible new physics experiments, such as research in the pursuit of an electric circuit for faster, next-generation electronics like quantum computing technologies.

Optical image of a trilayer graphene material sandwiched between boron nitride layers during the nanofabrication process (left); and the trilayer graphene/boron nitride device with gold electrodes (right). (Credit: Guorui Chen/Berkeley Lab)

“So far, materials simultaneously showing superconducting, insulating, and magnetic properties have been very rare. And most people believed that it would be difficult to induce magnetism in graphene, because it’s typically not magnetic. Our graphene system is the first to combine all three properties in a single sample,” said Guorui Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in Wang’s Ultrafast Nano-Optics Group at UC Berkeley, and the study’s lead author.

Using electricity to turn on graphene’s hidden potential

Graphene has a lot of potential in the world of electronics. Its atomically thin structure, combined with its robust electronic and thermal conductivity, “could offer a unique advantage in the development of next-generation electronics and memory storage devices,” said Chen, who also worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division at the time of the study.

The problem is that the magnetic materials used in electronics today are made of ferromagnetic metals, such as iron or cobalt alloys. Ferromagnetic materials, like the common bar magnet, have a north and a south pole. When ferromagnetic materials are used to store data on a computer’s hard disk, these poles point either up or down, representing zeros and ones – called bits.

Graphene, however, is not made of a magnetic metal – it’s made of carbon.

So the scientists came up with a creative workaround.

Illustration of the trilayer graphene/boron nitride moiré superlattice with electronic and ferromagnetic properties. (Credit: Guorui Chen/Berkeley Lab)

They engineered an ultrathin device, just 1 nanometer in thickness, featuring three layers of atomically thin graphene. When sandwiched between 2D layers of boron nitride, the graphene layers – described as trilayer graphene in the study – form a repeating pattern called a moiré superlattice.

By applying electrical voltages through the graphene device’s gates, the force from the electricity prodded electrons in the device to circle in the same direction, like tiny cars racing around a track. This generated a forceful momentum that transformed the graphene device into a ferromagnetic system.

Schematic of the double-gated trilayer graphene/boron nitride device. The inset shows the moiré superlattice pattern between the trilayer graphene and the bottom boron-nitride layer. (Credit: Guorui Chen/Berkeley Lab)

More measurements revealed an astonishing new set of properties: The graphene system’s interior had not only become magnetic but also insulating; and despite the magnetism, its outer edges morphed into channels of electronic current that move without resistance. Such properties characterize a rare class of insulators known as Chern insulators, the researchers said.

Even more surprising, calculations by co-author Ya-Hui Zhang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that the graphene device has not just one, but two conductive edges, making it the first observed “high-order Chern insulator,” a consequence of the strong electron-electron interactions in the trilayer graphene.

Scientists have been in hot pursuit of Chern insulators in a field of research known as topology, which investigates exotic states of matter. Chern insulators offer potential new ways to manipulate information in a quantum computer, where data is stored in quantum bits, or qubits. A qubit can represent a one, a zero, or a state in which it is both a one and a zero at the same time.

“Our discovery demonstrates that graphene is an ideal platform for studying different physics, ranging from single-particle physics, to superconductivity, and now topological physics to study quantum phases of matter in 2D materials,” Chen said. “It’s exciting that we can now explore new physics in a tiny device just 1 millionth of a millimeter thick.”

The researchers hope to conduct more experiments with their graphene device to have a better understanding of how the Chern insulator/magnet emerged, and the mechanics behind its unusual properties.

Researchers from Berkeley Lab; UC Berkeley; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, and Fudan University; and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science participated in the work.

This work was supported by the Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

SOURCE: https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2020/03/04/2d-material-gets-a-new-gig/

ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca Announces the Launch of Graphene Product Sales $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 9:53 AM on Monday, March 2nd, 2020

ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSXV: ZEN) “ZEN” or the “Company“) is pleased to announce the launch of Albany Pure TM graphene products on their website at https://shop.zengraphene.com/. The Company is planning to expand its product line to bring Graphene Quantum Dots, Graphene Oxide, Reduced Graphene Oxide, and other graphene-based products to the market.

“We have reached a major milestone as our 2020 goal is to start bringing in revenue from the production and sale of Albany Pure TM graphene products,”  stated Francis Dubé, CEO. “Graphene is the new wonder material that is just beginning to be used in many large scale industrial applications and we are entering the graphene sales market at an optimal time.”

The Company is ramping up its new lab facility in Guelph, Ontario and is working towards larger-scale graphene production. The graphene precursor material is sourced from the unique, igneous-hosted Albany Graphite Deposit in Northern Ontario. As part of the company’s business development plan, ZEN is actively working with several industries to functionalize and test its graphene products in their applications with the potential for subsequent industry partnerships and agreements.

About ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd.

ZEN is an emerging graphene technology solutions company with a focus on the development of graphene-based nanomaterial products and applications. The unique Albany Graphite Project provides the company with a potential competitive advantage in the graphene market as independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada have independently demonstrated that ZEN’s Albany PureTM Graphite is an ideal precursor material which easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene, using a variety of mechanical, chemical and electrochemical methods.

For further information:

Dr. Francis Dubé, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +1 (289) 821-2820
Email: [email protected]

Navigate the Emerging Graphene Market SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 12:09 PM on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

Graphene is on the cusp of significant market growth; the opportunities are exciting and diverse, each with significant potential. Graphene and 2D Materials Europe 2020 (13-14 May, Berlin) is the largest B2B event on the topic with a dedicated focus on the commercial frontiers www.GrapheneEurope.tech    There is often confusion surrounding the types of graphene, commercial status, and their target markets. This article will briefly summarise each and showcase what to expect at this event.

Graphene particles (powders and nanoplatelets)

These are the most commercially advanced forms of graphene and are seeing high-volume applications in energy storage, anti-corrosion coatings, conductive inks, thermal heat spreaders, and many more. Owing to fundamental differences, it is realistic to say no graphene in this category is the same and each application will have different requirements. Even powders and nanoplatelets should be treated distinctly with different players, advantages, and potential.   Exfoliation processes predominantly produce graphene nanoplatelets that can range in lateral size, thickness, surface area and more; these can vary from “thin-graphite” to just a few layers depending on the process. Graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide powders are typically made by a modified Hummers approach and can have similar variations to nanoplatelets.   Within these two approaches there are new techniques being commercially adopted and other competitive routes emerging. There are many players, prices, and strategies out there, but the success story is not guaranteed. There are still fundamental understandings developing, such as at the interfaces, and the value still to be proven in many sectors.   The IDTechEx analysts, who curate the agenda, forecast that the market for graphene producers will exceed $300m within the next decade with a tipping point rapidly approaching.   Most of this market valuation will be attributed to these particles. Delegates will hear from global manufacturers, integrators, and end-users on these nanoplatelets and powders, tackling questions such as:   “Why is one of the largest graphene orders to date for the smartphone industry? Could graphene enable the next-generation of lithium-ion batteries? Or assist the market penetration of supercapacitors? What about lightweight composite structures? Or enhancing concrete? Why would it be used for offshore wind turbines? Or pipelines? How can this be used in printed electronics?”

CVD grown graphene

This “bottom-up” approach to graphene can supply competitive particles but is more typically used to make wafers or sheets. This is at a nascent stage of commercialisation and addresses very different markets.     Initially the opportunity was thought to lie with transistors or TCFs, but due to a lack of bandgap and challenging incumbents, respectively, neither were to be successful. However, there are a plethora of opportunities beyond this utilising the high electron mobility, high surface area and other notable properties.   Applications on display at the event will notably include optoelectronics and sensors, with manufacturing discussion as to the graphene growth, quality and transfer techniques. Delegates will hear from the status of key players and research institutes as the first success stories emerge.

Other

There are other, less mainstream, approaches to graphene formation that again are distinct in the form and ultimate markets. Epitaxial methods deliver quality graphene on silicon carbide, which lends itself most notably for sensitive detectors. Again, this family of 2D materials is addressed at this event.

Beyond Graphene

Beyond graphene there is a huge family of 2D materials (academics computationally estimating over 6000 variants). The frontrunners are benefitting from the learning curve but also taking the industry in a variety of unknown directions, either standalone or as heterostructures. Players will address this larger family and the growing technology platform that is 2D materials.   The longest serving event for graphene commercialisation is increasingly relevant as the material exits the lab and enters the marketplace. With a 2-day dedicated conference track, parallel tracks for notable verticals, and a large trade floor, this has become the home of graphene commercialisation. Join us in Berlin on 13-14 May www.GrapheneEurope.tech 

SOURCE:https://www.printedelectronicsworld.com/articles/19849/navigate-the-emerging-graphene-market

Tuning the Interlayer Spacing of Graphene Laminate Films Yields Extremely Efficient Supercapacitors SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 11:01 AM on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

  • Researchers proposed a new design of the supercapacitor, which uses films of graphene laminate with the same distance between the layers.
  • Energy density increases drastically — about 10 times compared to conventional supercapacitors.

Scientists from University College London and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have proposed a graphene-based design for supercapacitors, which reportedly increased their density by 10 times.

Supercapacitors charge quickly but also discharge at a high speed. Existing supercapacitors tend to have a low energy density – about 1/20 of the battery capacity. Batteries combined with supercapacitors are already in limited use – for example, in Chinese public transport. But the bus in which such a battery is installed is forced to charge at almost every stop.

In this work, the researchers proposed a new design of the supercapacitor, which uses films of graphene laminate with the same distance between the layers.

The work showed that when the pores in the membranes exactly correspond to the size of the electrolyte ions, the energy density increases drastically — about 10 times compared to conventional supercapacitors.

In addition, the scientists note, the new material has a long service life, retaining 97.8% of its energy intensity after 5000 cycles of charging and discharging. The new supercapacitors are also very flexible – they can be bent up to 180 degrees.

SOURCE:https://www.graphene-info.com/tuning-interlayer-spacing-graphene-laminate-films-yields-extremely-efficient

Laser-Induced Graphene Shows Promise in the Development of Flexible Electronics SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 11:37 AM on Thursday, February 20th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

Scientists at Rice University have made laser-induced graphene using a low-power laser mounted in a scanning electron microscope.

The team at Rice University, in conjunction with Philip Rack, a Tennessee/ORNL materials scientist, have pioneered a process to create laser-induced graphene (LIG). LIG has features that are 60% smaller than the macro version of the material and almost 10 times smaller than what can be typically achieved using an infrared laser. 

The LIG Process

LIG is a multifunctional graphene foam that is direct-written with an infrared laser into a carbon-based precursor material. In the Rice team’s research, this was achieved using a visible 405 nm laser that directly converts polyimide into LIG, enabling the formation of LIG with a spatial resolution of 12 µm and a thickness of < 5 µm. This spatial resolution, enabled by the smaller-focused spot size of the 405 nm laser, represents a 60% reduction in previously reported LIG feature sizes. 

These smaller 405 nm lasers use light in the blue-violet part of the spectrum. They are much less powerful than the industrial lasers that are currently being used to burn graphene into materials. 

“A key for electronics applications is to make smaller structures so that one could have a higher density, or more devices per unit area,” James Tour of Rice University said in a statement. “This method allows us to make structures that are 10 times denser than we formerly made.”

A scanning electron microscope shows two tracers of LIG on a polyimide film.
A scanning electron microscope shows two tracers of LIG on a polyimide film. Image used courtesy of James Tour of Rice University

A New Path Toward Writing Electronic Circuits 

To prove the viability of their concept, the researchers made tiny flexible humidity sensors directly fabricated on polyimide. These devices were then able to sense human breath in 250 milliseconds. 

“This is much faster than the sampling rate for most commercial humidity sensors and enables the monitoring of rapid local humidity changes that can be caused by breathing,” said Rice postdoctoral researcher Michael Stanford, lead author of the research team’s paper. 

The 405 nm laser is mounted on a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and burns the top five microns of the polymer. This writes graphene features as small as 12 microns. 

The Rice team believes that this new LIG process could offer a new path toward writing electronic circuits into flexible materials such as clothing. 

“The LIG process will allow graphene to be directly synthesized for precise electronics applications on surfaces,” added Stanford. With growing interest in the LIG process for use in flexible electronics and sensors, further refinement of this process will expand its utility and potentially see it being used in a range of flexible electronics across all industries.

SOURCE: https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/laser-induced-graphene-shows-promise-in-the-development-of-flexible-electronics/

Next Tech Frontier – Can Graphene Change The World? SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 1:03 PM on Thursday, February 13th, 2020

SPONSOR: ZEN Graphene Solutions: An emerging advanced materials and graphene development company with a focus on new solutions using pure graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Our competitive advantage relies on the unique qualities of our multi-decade supply of precursor materials in the Albany Graphite Deposit. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada confirm this. Click here for more information

Every age in the history of human civilisation has a signature material, from the Stone Age, to the Bronze and Iron Ages. We might even call today’s information-driven society the Silicon Age.

Since the 1960s, silicon nanostructures, the building-blocks of microchips, have supercharged the development of electronics, communications, manufacturing, medicine, and more.

How small are these nanostructures? Very, very small – you could fit at least 3,000 silicon transistors onto the tip of a human hair. But there is a limit: below about 5 nanometres (5 millionths of a millimetre), it is hard to improve the performance of silicon devices any further.

So if we are about to exhaust the potential of silicon nanomaterials, what will be our next signature material? That’s where “atomaterials” come in.What are atomaterials?

What are atomaterials?

“Atomaterials” is short for “atomic materials”, so called because their properties depend on the precise configuration of their atoms. It is a new but rapidly developing field.

One example is graphene, which is made of carbon atoms. Unlike diamond, in which the carbon atoms form a rigid three-dimensional structure, graphene is made of single layer of carbon atoms, bonded together in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice.

Diamond’s rigid structure is the reason for its celebrated hardness and longevity, making it the perfect material for high-end drill bits and expensive jewellery. In contrast, the two-dimensional form of carbon atoms in graphene allows electron travelling frictionless at a high speed giving ultrahigh conductivity and the outstanding in plane mechanical strength. Thus, graphene has broad applications in medicines, electronics, energy storage, light processing, and water filtration. 

Using lasers, we can fashion these atomic structures into miniaturised devices with exceptional performance.

Using atomaterials, our lab has been working on a range of innovations, at various stages of development. They include:

  • A magic cooling film. This film can cool the environment by up to 10℃ without using any electricity. By integrating such a film into a building, the electricity used for air conditioning can be reduced by 35%, and summer electricity blackouts effectively stopped. This will not only save electricity bills but also reduce greenhouse emissions.
  • Heat-absorbing film. Some 97% of Earth’s water is in the oceans, and is salty and unusable without expensive processing. Efficiently removing salt from seawater could be a long-term solution to the growing global freshwater scarcity. With a solar-powered graphene film, this process can be made very efficient.

The film absorbs almost all the sunlight shining on it and converts it into heat. The temperature can be increased to 160℃ within 30 seconds. This heat can then distil seawater with an efficiency greater than 95%, and the distilled water is cleaner than tapwater. This low-cost technology can be suitable for domestic and industry applications.

  • Smart sensing film. These flexible atomaterial films can incorporate a wide range of functions including environmental sensing, communication, and energy storage. They have a broad range of applications in healthcare, sports, advanced manufacturing, farming, and others. For example, smart films could monitor soil humidity near plants’ roots, thus helping to make agriculture more water-efficient.
  • Ultrathin, ultra-lightweight lenses. The bulkiest part of a mobile phone camera is the lens, because it needs to be made of thick glass with particular optical properties. But lenses made with graphene can be mere millionths of a millimetre thick, and still deliver superb image quality. Such lenses could greatly reduce the weight and cost of everything from phones to space satellites.
  • Near-instant power supply. We have developed an environmentally friendly supercapacitor from graphene that charges devices in seconds, and has a lifetime of millions of charge cycles. By attaching it to the back of a solar cell, it can store and deliver solar-generated energy whenever and wherever required. You will be free and truly mobile.

Where to next?

It can take years for some of these laboratory technologies to reach fruition. To try and speed up the process, we established the CTAM Global OpenLab to engage with industry, academia, government and the wider community and to promote sharing and collaboration. The lab was launched earlier this month at the International Conference on Nanomaterial and Atomaterial Sciences and Applications (ICNASA2020).

The world is facing pressing challenges, from climate change, to energy and resource scarcity, to our health and well-being.

Material innovation is more vital than ever and needs to be more efficient, design-driven and environmentally friendly. But these challenges can only be solved by joint effort from worldwide researchers, enterprise, industry and government with a sharing and open mindset.

SOURCE: https://techfinancials.co.za/2020/02/12/next-tech-frontier-can-graphene-change-the-world/

New Graphene-Based Material to Increase Recording Density of Data Storage Devices SPONSOR – ZEN Graphene Solutions $ZEN.ca $LLG.ca $FMS.ca $NGC.ca $CVE.ca $DNI.

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 12:58 PM on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

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An international group of Russian and Japanese scientists recently developed a graphene-based material that might significantly increase the recording density in data storage devices, such as SSDs and flash drives. Among the main advantages of the material is the absence of rewrite limit, which will allow implementing new devices for Big Data processes.

The development of compact and reliable memory devices is an increasing need. Today, traditional devices are devices in which information is transferred through electric current. The simplest example is a flash card or SSD. At the same time, users inevitably encounter problems: the file may not be recorded correctly, the computer may stop “seeing” the flash drive, and to record a large amount of information, rather massive devices are required.

A promising alternative to electronics is spintronics. In spintronics, devices operate on the principle of magnetoresistance: there are three layers, the first and third of which are ferromagnetic, and the middle one is nonmagnetic. Passing through such a “sandwich” structure, electrons, depending on their spin, are scattered differently in the magnetized edge layers, which affects the resulting resistance of the device.

The control of information using the standard logical bits, 0 and 1, can be performed by detecting an increase or decrease in this resistance.

The international group of scientists from National University of Science and Technology MISIS (Russia) and National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (Japan) developed a material that can significantly increase the capacity of magnetic memory by increasing the recording density. The scientists used a combination of graphene and the semi-metallic Heusler alloy Co2FeGaGe.

“Japanese colleagues for the first time grew a single-atom layer of graphene on a layer of semi-metallic ferromagnetic material and measured its properties. The Japanese team, led by Dr. Seiji Sakai, conducts unique experiments, while our group is engaged in a theoretical description of the data obtained. Our teams have been working together for many years and have obtained a number of important results,” comments Pavel Sorokin, Sc.D. in Physics and Mathematics, head of the “Theoretical Materials Science of Nanostructures” infrastructure project at the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials.

Previously, graphene was not used in magnetic memory devices as carbon atoms reacted with the magnetic layer, which led to changes in its properties. By careful selection of the Heusler alloy composition, as well as the methods of its application, it was possible to create a thinner sample compared to previous analogues. This, in turn, will significantly increase the capacity of magnetic memory devices without increasing their physical size.

Next, the scientists plan to scale the experimental sample and modify the structure.

https://www.graphene-info.com/new-graphene-based-material-increase-recording-density-data-storage-devices